Archive for September, 2012

Recipe 29 – Cherry Tomato Bread and Butter Pudding

Easy Recipes.

Cherry Tomato Bread and Butter Pudding.

Also posted under Savoury.

Tomatoes are so good for you, so pack them in where you can!

 Ingredients:-

1 oz. butter, softened

1 garlic clove, crushed

5 or 6 slices of sale bread

20 cherry tomatoes

2 ozs. ham, roughly chopped, or some slithers of fried bacon

500 ml / 18 fl. ozs. milk

3 eggs

50 g. / 2 ozs. cheddar cheese, grated.

 

HARD PART – nothing hard about this one!

Set the oven to gas mark 4, or 180F / 160C.

How to make it:-

Mix the margarine and the crushed garlic and use a little of this to grease an appropriately-sized casserole dish.

 Butter the bread slices with the remaining garlic butter and cut each slice in half diagonally.  Place these half slices into the casserole dish, overlapping them, then tuck the half tomatoes and ham around these slices.

 Whisk the eggs and milk together and season with salt, pepper and any other herb that takes your fancy (I opt for rosemary).  Pour the liquid over the bread, push the top layer of bread into the liquid and then allow to stand for about ten minutes.

 Scatter the grated cheese over the top of the mixture and then bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes…You will know it is ready when it is set and the cheese has turned golden brown.

Serve with salad or chips!

Oh, yum yum! 

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Cherry Tomato Treasures

Since I moved to Spain six years ago, and found that I was capable of growing tomatoes, I’ve become hooked on this all-important fruit (yes, it is a fruit).  In particular, I’m into cherry tomatoes and, in that first successful year, when I believed all of my ten plants would just simply die on me, I needed to buy an extra freezer just for the mountain of little gems that I hadn’t used up.

I halved each tomato then placed about twenty tomatoes (forty halves into a small plastic food bag, added a spice of my choice (rosemary, black pepper, mustard seeds, paprika etc.) and froze them.  They lasted me right through to my once again picking them with the next crop the following September.

Since those early days, I’ve found that the original plants tend to self-seed, so I am guaranteed (well, almost) mountains of my favourite little babies to use up.  So watch out for my next few cherry tomato recipes which will all be gorgeous and always simple.

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Oh, It’s all Too Technical…. !

I feel as though I have snookered myself.

This is because I now seem to have to carry three phones around with me ….. even in the house!

 

It’s like this ….. . 

I have a Spanish mobile.  All of my friends and family know this number and I like the number too, as it has rhythm when I read it out, making it, I should imagine, easier to remember.  It costs me about twenty five euros a month. 

I have an English mobile.  Now this makes sense as, when I visit England, my kids can call me directly, without the call passing through Spain to get back to me on holiday in England.  The company sometimes does offers, which allow me to talk to me sons for nothing, even when I am sitting in Spain (shh., don’t tell the company ….)

 Now I have what can only be described a mobile landline.  Yes, I know, it seems a contradiction of terms but that is really what it is … a mobile landline.  I use it in Spain and, by paying only five euros more a month, I can take my mobile landline out of the region and use it, as a landline, anywhere in Spain. 

Can you believe it?  Well done if you can, because I am still struggling to get to grips with it.

 The mobile landline is also a mobile, as it knows two telephone numbers and connects using either of those numbers according to the number I am ringing (landline or mobile).

 

So, I have three handsets and four telephone numbers.

 I’m going to get a bum bag (you know, those things you have round your waist when you are on holiday), just for use in the house!

 

Wired for sound, eh?!

 

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Rain, Rain, Don’t Delay …..!

In this part of Spain, it’s either red hot sun or drought.  Now, for the average English person, that sounds good …. and it was ….. until now.

We get double the rainfall of London in the period December to April and then we may get only two or three days of rain from May to October.  So the rain that falls in those months mentioned earlier allows this part of Spain to be referred to as ‘Green Spain’. 

Keep that under your hat for now …. . 

Where we live, there are so many little villages scattered amongst the hills, that many (include our village and the two right next to us here) don’t have public water.  So, our water falls into the ground, finds its way into a big metal tank, then passes through a perforated pop bottle-cum-filter and through the hose pipes to each of the seven occupied houses in the three villages. 

Well, the last rainy period didn’t happen.  We got only a few days of rain and, though we are used to having two or three days in August without water, we are now into September and have so far been without water for five days of this month. We can’t even collect any water at a communal fountain at the top of the valley, as that has dried up as well, so we now have to drive fifteen miles to collect water at a friend’s house and buy water from a supermarket. 

We don’t know how long this situation is going to last as, without torrential rain over a period of maybe two or three weeks, I can’t see any way round it.  I comfort myself with the fact that this is not a permanent way of life but a current inconvenience … .

Warming Water for a Makeshift Shower

These things are sent to try us!

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Laughing on the Other Side of His Face Now …..!

On the occasions I have returned to England, not only to visit my kids but also to get an English ‘fix’, I’ve told my youngest son (he’s thirty one) of the strange things that we have adjusted to:- 

  1. We couldn’t have one of those hot tubs where we live, because the land is so uneven (‘what are you going on about, mother?’ was his response)
  2. I don’t wear high-heel shoes now, as it is too dangerous where we live …. (another query as to what I was going on about …)
  3. You need to be able to speak Spanish to live where we live ….  (a yawn of disbelief).

Well, that’s kids for you, isn’t it?

My son, his wife and their new baby visited us in August and guess what?

My son has advised us against getting a hot tub unless, of course, we remove the rubble from just under the surface of the lawn (that’s where the builders hid it) and we lay decking or something more concrete (a play on words, don’t you think?)

His wife fell off her ‘three-inchers’ when trying to get into their car (no real injury, thankfully, though I was biting my tongue to say ‘didn’t I warn you?’).

And, while they were here, I gave them the advice of:-

You won’t find many shop assistants that can speak English so, if you get stuck,  give me a call  (five calls received).

If you get lost, give me a call (three calls received).

I was so happy that I could be of some service!

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What We Ate as Kids …. .

When I was only knee-high to a grasshopper, I ate whatever was going.  Other than fish and chips, takeaways were unheard of, food was fairly basic and no-one had freezers, fridges or microwaves ….. and we still survived! 

Remember:- 

  1. Sugar sandwiches 
  2. A supper of an oxo cube ( a stock cube) drink filled with bread and eaten with a spoon (I did this a few months ago and it still tasted good! 
  3. Currant clootie dumpling, consisting of suet pastry which had sugar and currants added and was then fastened in a rag and boiled for a couple of hours (I’m going to make this soon and pour golden syrup (treacle) over it, just like I did when I was a kid) 
  4. A dessert of pineapple chunks and their juice, in which we dipped buttered bread 
  5. Condensed milk sandwiches

 

Food was so simple and we didn’t die of hunger.  I wonder if you can add anything to this list.

 

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It Just Happened …. .

I don’t know how it happened ….. it just did.  One minute (and that minute lasted five years) I was eight stone five pounds (117 llbs.) and the next minute I was eight thirteen (125 llbs.)! 

  1. Could it be that I was spending too much time writing or talking to my students of English?
  2. Had I stopped caring (oh, please don’t let it be this one!)?
  3. Was my hubby putting too much on my plate (I am of the ilk that you shouldn’t waste any food)?
  4. Is it my age and my hormones, and not I, are now in control of my figure (odds on favourite, I think)? 

Well, I’ve had my son, his girlfriend and their new baby here for twelve days, before heading to the south of Spain AND I’VE LOST 2 POUNDS !!!!!!!  In weight, that is! 

Not only will this be as a result of all of the running around I have been doing but I am now resorting to cherry tomatoes for breakfast.  Nothing else – just cherry tomatoes.  They taste so good.  Simply cut them in half and place them into your cereal bowl.  I use a little spoon to pick each half tomato up individually and wow, the flavour will take some beating.  Thankfully, I have a lot of tomato plants which self-seeded, as I wasn’t going to grow many tomato plants this year.  All but one plant is of the cherry variety, so how much weight loss could all those little jewels equate to?!

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